Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Brilliant Idea

Every once in a while you read something that somebody wrote that just overwhelms you with their good sense.

This is one of those times. Herewith is the article from the above link in its entirety.

"Riffing off of the fact that 47% of Americans aren't expected to pay federal income tax for 2009, and the fact that the highest 40% earners pay 86% of total federal taxes, we have a small suggestion.

How about we just end the ruse.

Most Americans either don't pay any federal tax or barely support the federal government. Yet as our latest 20 Tax Facts To Blow Your Mind show, these Americans are wasting massive amounts of their own time, and others' time, filing taxes just to pay a relative drop in the bucket. Plus they feel entitled to using money they probably didn't contribute, because they feel as if it's 'their tax dollars'.

So let's just exempt the bottom 60% from paying federal taxes. It might actually be in the interest of the top 40% earners.

That's because the charade will be over. It will be very clear who pays the bills for the federal government and then instead of an F.U. for paying the country's bills, people who earn substantial sums through their own skill and efforts and thus pay large amounts of taxes might get a small thank you. It would then be far more difficult, politically, to expand wasteful entitlement programs because it would just be glaringly obvious who is paying and who is simply receiving. It's not that all entitlement programs are necessarily bad, we believe in some form of support for the less fortunate, but at the very least there would be far more emphasis on entitlement spending for the very needy only, if it were so clear that most Americans aren't even funding the federal government.

Finally, given all the work that goes into tracking 60% of Americans that provide just 14% of the tax revenue, one wonders if the economy as a whole might actually come out with a net benefit due to lower paperwork and tracking costs. The government could surely slash its 100,000+ army of IRS employees as a start, and Americans wouldn't have to hire one million accountants. Sounds like a win-win for all. Except bureaucrats and accountants."

End of Brilliant Idea article.


This is one of those things that actually COULD happen.


bureaucrat said...

The old folks truly believe they are entitled to a modestly comfortable retirement, and also they think that doctors visits still only really cost $5 each. Whether they realize or not that we Federal employees basically get all our money from the wealthy of this country is immaterial. The older folks consider themselves deserving of everything they have coming, and only a deluded Liberatarian would think otherwise. :)

The bad news is, even tho the rich of this country pay most of the tax, they could afford to pay a LOT more. They paid lots in the 1950s & 1960s. 90% top tax rate. Hmmmmmm. :)

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever paid close to 90%. There were lots of ways to avoid the tax. The Federal government's percentage take of the GDP from income tax was about the same in the 50s as now. What has changed is the take for FICA and Medicare. It has gone from about 2% of GDP through the 50s to about 6.5% of GDP today.

The bottom 80% pay LOTS of tax, it's just hidden. FUTA, paid by the employer, FICA 50% paid by the employer, Medcare 50% paid by the employer. Workers comp., State unemployment etc., all hidden. The employer's contribution IS part of compensation. And, it's huge. The poorest suck in this country is paying over 20% on the first buck.


Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

Carbon and I will agree that the Federal INCOME tax is very progressive (higher percentages of tax levied as you go up the income ladder), and that the NON-income taxes, some paid by your employer (Social security, Medicare, unemployment comp, worker's comp, head taxes, etc.) are very REgressive. The poor do pay, but the rich pay way more.

Where are those stats I have laying around here ....

The top 20% of income earners pay 69% of ALL federal taxes (income, SS, Medicare, excise, corporate).

The top 10% of income earners pay 73% of (just) Federal INCOME taxes. The top 5% pay 61%, and the top 1% pay 39%.

The percentages of net worth in the U.S. is even MORE skewed toward the wealthy. The top 20% of income earners own 93% of all the financial assets.

Yes, the poor pay some (hidden) tax. But we know where all the real dollars come from.

One man, one vote? Pshaw! :)

PioneerPreppy said...

Good points Coal Guy!

I used to pay some hefty taxes each year, but since I was forced to become a simple laborer and gotten custody of my son I no longer have to pay out come April.

Yet companies always proclaim that they have to pay a lower amount because of all the "hidden" fees as CG mentioned.

Just more of an automatic income tax scam in action.